Artists have given new plans to transform Peckham’s multi-storey car park the brush off after their proposal for 800 low rent studios was turned down.
The scheme put forward by the Bold Tendencies arts collective, already based at the car park, was rejected in favour of an application for a mixture of artist studios, workshops and offices from the Mayfair-based Pop Community Ltd.
For the next five years the car park will accommodate 50 affordable studio and workshop spaces alongside shops and event spaces, as well as Bold Tendencies and Frank’s rooftop bar.
All tenants will be independent businesses, drawn primarily from the local area.
Southwark Council was approached by 70 different organisations interested in managing the space but has come under fire for not selecting the proposal from Bold Tendencies.
London Green Party spokesperson Sian Berry described the decision as “desperately disappointing” and Eileen Conn from Peckham Vision said “the local community were not involved in identifying the priorities for uses or the criteria for assessing bids.”
The Collective has previously been criticised for a similar project in Brixton, described as a “community campus for local business” but angered locals when it was perceived to take on a more business-focussed approach.
Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “As a council we have promised to create hundreds of new affordable work spaces for the creative industries, and this appointment is the start of us delivering on that promise.
“Although the car park is still earmarked for development in the long term, we have the opportunity now to help local residents set up new businesses and provide space for local artists,” he added.